I have been thinking a lot lately about how to make my business a success (who isn't?) There are so many resources out there and all around us: books, colleagues, coaches, blogs etc. But a person can have all the tools in the world and still not make it. It's a scary thought. I try to be realistic at all times, while a voice in the back of my mind says that a certain amount of naive optimism or idealism is a necessity. I keep thinking about a quote from the objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand, it comes from her book "The Virtue of Selfishness" at page 28:
The irrational is the impossible, it is that which contradicts the facts of reality; facts cannot be altered by a wish, but they can destroy the wisher.
I guess where I come down on the issue is, entrepreneurs must be, or are, idealists, but successful ones have got to be extreme realists at the same time, constantly checking the facts, testing what works, retooling, tweaking, and always being flexible.
There are a couple of very interesting posts on this subject- one at re:inventioninc's blog, under Business Shoulder Story Bag: a real-life problem of one "Cindy" and whether she should pack it in or keep going with her business. Another related post is at bizinformer, by JS Logan, 5 Tips to Test an Underperforming Product or Service. Both the posts, and the comments especially in reinvention's post, help to educate us about how to be extremely realistic when that is what is needed...so that we can make our ideals a reality.